Six interns joined our 2022 Coastal Conservation Research Program this summer for an intensive hands-on learning experience in the marsh! This year, CCRP interns worked closely with our staff to contribute to long-term projects monitoring the diamondback terrapin population and conducted surveys of wetland bird populations. They also explored their own research questions, gaining experience with proposal development, data analysis, scientific writing, and public speaking. It was an action-packed 10 weeks, and we are grateful for their hard work and proud of their accomplishments!

Pictured left to right: Rachel Helt, Ella Souder, Caroline Behnke, Harrison Hepding, Christian Anthopoulos, Destiny Devlin

Intern Projects Overview

Christian Anthopoulos, now entering his Junior year at Eckerd College, monitored nesting activity of diamondback terrapins at two saltmarsh sites enhanced with dredge materials to provide elevated nesting habitat.

Caroline Behnke, a recent graduate of University of Tennessee – Knoxville, tested effects of water source and temperature on the development of horseshoe crab eggs.

Destiny Devlin, going into her Junior year at East Stroudsburg University, explored changes in vegetation community and habitat availability with elevation and salinity at an enhanced saltmarsh site.

Rachel Helt, a rising Senior at Lebanon Valley College, investigated diamondback terrapin behavior along a stretch of road with an experimental section of barrier fence.

Harrison Hepding, a recent graduate of University of Rhode Island, advanced our knowledge of secretive species of sparrows that nest in the saltmarsh by estimating occupancy and studying factors affecting nest site characteristics and nest success.

Ella Souder, beginning her Senior year at University of Miami, examined intraspecific interactions between large gulls and American Oystercatchers to understand impacts to nest site selection on marsh islands.